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PSC calls out Govt on underfunding of security sector

first_imgThe Private Sector Commission (PSC) has expressed its grave concern at Government’s underfunding of the various law enforcement agencies.This was related to Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan during a meeting with a delegation from the PSC. The engagement saw a range of issues affecting the nation’s prison system being discussed and solutions sought to some of the challenges facing the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) in particular.Among those issues addressed were the lack of adequate transportation; the general conditions under which prisoners are being held, especially at the Lusignan Prison since the fire at the Georgetown Prison and the threat posed to prison warders as a result of these conditions; and the lack of smoke detectors which would serve to provide early warning of any fires at the various prisons.The PSC delegation, led by its Chairman Desmond Sears, commended the Public Security Ministry for recent improvements which have been made within the prison system with regard to the supply of water and the upgraded road leading to the Lusignan Prison.However, it did register concerns at the underfunding of the Police, prison and fire services.Nevertheless, on the issue of the lack of transportation, Chairman of the PSC’s Governance Sub-committee, Captain Gerald Gouveia, indicated that since the fire at the Camp Street Prison there is no kitchen facility there and as such, food has to be transported daily from Lusignan.“I am advised that quite often the food arrives hours late and in some cases is spoilt when it gets to Georgetown,” Gouveia said during the meeting. He also drew attention to the lack of transportation at the New Amsterdam Prisons which affected the timely movement of prisoners to the court and for medical attention.To this end, the PSC recommended that some of the buses currently at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Camp Ayanganna headquarters should be reassigned to the Guyana Prison Service to alleviate the critical logistics problems which it faces.However, Minister Ramjattan pointed to a number of constraints which his Ministry faces as well as identified a menu of initiatives upon which it has embarked in an effort to resolve some of the issues.Following the meeting, the PSC dispatched a letter to the Minister documenting its concerns along with its recommendations.last_img

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